“I love my ladies more than a fishermen loves a clear sunrise, and to have you take photos of them is like the fisherman had a day of perfect casts. For the record, I don’t fish… yet.”
Jenna and Tristan are award-winning photographers based out of Victoria, BC and Toronto, ON and are available for travel worldwide
AKA wherever the heck you need us.
A little professional backstory:
I’ll make this quick because although it’s relevant, it’s the boring stuff. Tristan and I are both professionally trained (we were lucky enough that half of our college program was done completely in the darkroom before we switched to digital learning) and have been photographing together since 2007. We speak both as a team and as individuals at various conferences, and I (Jenna) teach documentary family/birth photography internationally to students through individual mentoring, various in-person workshops and online classes through the DFP (Documentary Family Photographers) education platform. We also co-founded (and judge for) the Documentary Family Awards (DFA) with Kirsten Lewis Bethmann. We belong to various professional organizations such as Fearless Photographers and the International Society of Wedding Photographers (ISPWP).
You may also be interested in our personal work which can be found at jennashouldice.com and tristanshouldice.com and on our personal IG accounts instagram.com/jennacshouldice instagram.com/tristanshouldice
A little personal backstory:
Maybe don’t tell your kids this but Tristan and I have been living together since our first ‘date’ which was really not a date at all. He came over and just sort of – never left. So it is natural that our relationship extended into working together. We’ve been doing so since 2007 and we have loved being a partnership in work, life and parenting from the start. We have two daughters now who fascinate and entertain us to no end. Of course, our home is basically a craft bomb (our oldest often LITERALLY wakes up in the wee hours of the morning and demands to craft immediately) we haven’t slept in years (do any parents?) and sometimes we just actually forget normal words mid-sentence, but there is so much about this messy life that makes us laugh and inspires us creatively. We could watch our children for hours and the amount of photographs we take of them is well, nuts. We have always practised what we preach, and our lives are documented with the grit, honesty and love that we extend into our professional work.
If you still want to know quirks more about us:
If I’m being honest, half of the craft bomb in our home is actually ours. We try to make things as much as we can not because we’re pioneers or have some kind of fantastical life motto, but just because we like making things. Tristan sews clothes for our kids, I knit for them and together we seem to have a thing for making improv baby quilts. I’m sure the art store thinks we’re great painters (we’re not) and multimedia artists from the sheer amount of supplies we buy, and the folks at the bookstore know us by name. But our kids are well set up for whatever artistic experiment they invent for themselves, they have endless stories to lose themselves in, and we’re set up for making (sometimes successful and sometimes hilariously awful) whatever-it-is that we feel like making at the time. I’m tempted here to give you a list of all the other things we love but feel at risk of heading into the long-walks-on-the-beach territory. I think I could instead probably sum it up by saying we’re into all kinds of art and into all kinds of people. I imagine this is not exactly shocking as documentary photographers… we are basically people who make art that revolves around other people.
A bit about us that is relevant to how we photograph:
We are full of sentimentality but we dislike anything cheesy. You’ll see this reflected in our work. We LOVE our job with a stupid amount of passion and we LOVE being a part of such significant events and times in people’s lives. We LOVE people watching and we LOVE children and think they are so entertaining, whether they are wild or just sitting there doing nothing. In loving these things so deeply, we work hard to make photographs of your family and events that reflect depth, character and relationship as opposed to photographic trends. AKA we might actually BE cheesy but our work is not. We want to make work for you and your descendants that you/they will be proud to frame in any decade.
Some thoughts on our work:
So much of photography is about the future in that we are sharing our stories with the people who come after us. So much of photography is also about the past, as we’re essentially trying to bottle up the little moments of our current lives to preserve them forever. But what is also interesting to me is how much about photography applies to our current lives. I believe it helps orient us in our relationships. Photographs teach us about ourselves and about how others see, need and love us. I remember being 10 years old thinking I wish people could see themselves the way I saw them, and then years later I figured out a way to actually do that. And then I found a partner who saw the world with creative eyes too. As I said, he came over and never left and here we are – happily reflecting your world back onto you. We truly treasure (see I know that sounds cheesy) that experience, getting to know and love you, and make photographs that hopefully make you love yourself a little bit more too. And ok yes I know that sounded EXTRA cheesy but the truth is, who doesn’t love a good picture of themselves, be honest. I know I want good pictures of me with my kids? I wanted good pictures of our wedding? I want to look back at myself when I’m a grandmother and think HOT DAMN even if I don’t think that now. So stick with me when I say “love yourself a little bit more” because It’s not so far off the mark.
A little pep-like talk
I don’t want to be all like “you’re doing great” and “you got this” when heck maybe you don’t! Just kidding, you probably do. But the truth is whether you feel like “you got this” or not, it’s still beautiful to photograph. That’s right, whether you believe us or not, it’s always beautiful to photograph. Every phase of life warrants our respect and reflection. And while you might be anything from sweaty and overwhelmed to dressed up in the worlds most beautiful wedding attire, we are here to be the affectionate reflection. We are here to navigate the successes or messes of whatever time we’re invited to photograph, and show you why we think it’s worthy of your attention.
We’re going to get along just fine.
“Wrap your arms around me. Don’t let go.”
–Jake (Groom) to Tristan, 1 am